There isn’t an Emmy category for “Best Episode Title,” but if there was, this show would be a strong contender. Episode 212 is called “The Hail Mary” and it truly is a string of them from start to finish. Viewers aren’t the only ones desperate for a last-minute win. Literally everyone in this episode is praying for a final reprieve- some miracle to occur to grant them what they most want. Unfortunately, very few are granted such a wish this time around.
Sword score: 10/10. It’s three days from the Battle of Culloden, and Jamie is trying everything he can think of to sway Prince Charles away from that moor. His first plan, to wait for the money from the French government to show up, is shot down quicker than a British sentry. After Claire gets some vital information from a surprising source, Jamie offers a new plan: attack the British at night when they’re all drunk from their general’s birthday party. The plan is accepted, but everyone forgets that Prince Charles is literally the worst soldier in the entire army. When he and his half of the army get lost in the dark, the plan falls apart. Everyone returns to Inverness to prepare for the following day’s battle- at Culloden Moor.
Skin score: 10/10. While Jamie is fighting to keep his men alive, Claire is surrounded by men wanting to die. First, she discovers Alex Randall living with Mary Hawkins in Inverness. Mary is pregnant, and refuses to accept that Alex is dying. While Claire does what she can to ease his pain, she’s also contending with Black Jack, who shows up to care for his brother. Tobias Menzies turns in a brilliant performance this episode by letting viewers see the human man hiding under the monster. In one drunkenly introspective moment, Black Jack asks Claire why beauty must die when evil gets to live on. Claire doesn’t have an answer, but she does convince him to consent to Alex’s dying wish and marry Mary. It’ll keep her and the baby safe, even if Black Jack dies at Culloden. In a parallel storyline, Colum Mackenzie shows up in camp, seeking to settle his affairs before his death. He and his brother, Dougal, have quite a bit to settle, especially after Colum grants guardianship of his son to Jamie instead of Dougal. In the end, Dougal comes to make amends, but it’s too late to say everything that he wishes. The common theme of brothers, betrayal, and things left unfinished runs deep in both storylines, and the aching lack of resolution will leave viewers feeling just as much grief as the characters.
Final score: 10/10. This is the best episode of the season so far, and it’s the second to last one that viewers get. So many things are left unresolved, and some of them never will be. Culloden Moor is happening tomorrow, and all of the planning, all of the plotting, all of the time and effort and strain, seems to have been for nothing. What will the resolution be for Claire and Jamie? And will history be changed forever after all? These questions may finally be answered in the upcoming season 2 finale.
Kade is often described as, “here just a minute ago” and can often be found just around the corner from where you’d expect. Approaching is not encouraged, unless you come with a strong wifi connection and a nice charcuterie board with gluten-free breads.